High Fructose Corn Syrup: Plays Hide-and-Seek in Your Food

Health-conscious consumers are constantly on the lookout for such ingredients as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  It is common knowledge that HFCS has a home in cake, candy, and soda. Now; however, shoppers should be aware that their local grocery store may stock products that unexpectedly have HFCS in them, and it takes more than an assumption to find out.

High-fructose corn syrup is a corn-based sweetener that commonly replaces or accompanies table sugar (sucrose) in various food products. Companies often prefer to utilize HFCS due to its affordable price and its preservative qualities.

The health effects of HFCS are widely disputed. There is no solid evidence that it is  unhealthier than other available sweeteners.  It is theorized that the body breaks down HFCS differently than other sugars in a way that potentially causes the liver to let more fat into the bloodstream, thus raising concerns about its potential health risks. Whether or not HFCS is the unhealthiest of sweeteners, studies have found connections between excessive consumption of sugars (not exclusively corn syrup) and such issues as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and an escalated risk for a heart attack due to increased  triglyceride levels.

Consumers would be wise to investigate their food choices for HFCS and other sweeteners. It is no surprise that HFCS is in sugary products such as fruit drinks, soda, yogurt, candy, and other fruity foods like  jams and sauces. Surprisingly; however, HFCS  has also found its way into foods that are seemingly unsweetened. Salad  dressings, granola bars, frozen pizzas, macaroni and cheese, peanuts, ketchup, and even tonic water have listed high-fructose corn syrup in their ingredient panels.

More alarming still is that this sneaky corn syrup is managing to work its way into the foods more typically purchased by dieters and other health-conscious purchasers. Whole-grain and  “healthy” breads are guilty of harboring HFCS, as well as heart-healthy  breakfast cereals. Ironically, nutrition bars are known to often contain HFCS,  despite their purpose of being, well, nutritious.

The bottom line here is  that even for those who scrupulously watch what they eat, it is always wise to read the fine print and be sure of the product you are getting.  High-fructose corn syrup sneaks its way into a great number of food, and regardless of its effects in comparison to other sweeteners, it is prudent to monitor your sugar intake.

Sources for  this article include:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.divinecaroline.com
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588

Drinking High Fructose Corn Syrup Really Makes you Stupid

ImageIf you think eating and drinking foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) every now and again will not do you that much harm, think again. A new study out of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has found that consuming HFCS can actually destroy memory, slow mental function, and ultimately deteriorate brain performance. For their study, a team of researchers first trained a group of rats to navigate a complicated maze for five days, and then divided this group into two smaller groups. Both groups were then fed a solution containing HFCS as their drinking water for two weeks, while only one group was given flaxseed oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid, as part of a supplement regimen. At the end of this six-week period, both groups of rats were put back in the maze to see how they performed at navigating it.

Upon observation and analysis, the UCLA team discovered that the group fed only the HFCS solution had reduced synaptic activity in the brain, which resulted in rats having trouble figuring out the maze. The brain cells of these HFCS-affected rats literally could not signal properly, which illustrates a clear link between consumption of this highly-processed sugar and brain damage. “Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, about the rats that consumed just the HFCS solution. “Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new.” Beyond just brain damage, the team also found that, without supplemental DHA and omega-3s, HFCS consumption leads to insulin resistance because of the particular way fructose appears to disrupt neuronal function and the brain’s absorption of insulin. This discovery confirms that HFCS, even more-so than glucose and other forms of processed sugar, is definitively and uniquely linked to causing diabetes, despite claims by the Corn Refiners Industry (CRI) to the contrary. “Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” added Gomez-Pinilla, confirming what we have been saying here at NaturalNews for a long time. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage.”

by: Jonathan Benson

Resources:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/sugar-dumb-us-scientists-warn-190918006.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515150938.htm